The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

Other books by the author

  • Rooftoppers
  • The Girl Savage
  • Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms


Book trailer

Interview with the author

If you liked this, try…

  • The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
  • Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
  • The Last Wild series by Piers Torday
  • Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee
  • Winter Magic by Abi Elphinstone
  • The Deptford Mice trilogy by Robin Jarvis

34 thoughts on “The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

  1. This was an amazing read filled with adventure and determination. I loved the opening line and the ending with all the rest in between. I learnt a lot about wolves and I became heartbroken at some points in the story. This book had a dramatic start and a dramatic ending with adventure all the way through. Thank you for this read.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this book because I could picture the atmosphere and the description was amazing and really detailed. My favourite part was when Feo finds her mum and she travelled a long way so she could find her. I couldn’t put the book down! This book has been my favourite book out of all the books I have ever read.

    Wolf Wilder is an exciting story. I liked reading this book because it took me to a world I never could have imagined. This book combines fairytale with reality, in Russia 100 years ago. Alicia

    I think that Wolf Wilder was a really good book because I could imagine what was happening/going on. I also liked how it shows that even children can fight for what they want as well as adults.

    Set in a frozen Russia, in a time when Tsar’s and their armies ruled Russia, this exhilarating and exciting story takes the reader through the life of Feo and her Mother who are both Wolf Wilders; they find wolves that were once pets and teach them how to be wolves again. The book takes you through a journey which starts with the basic life of Feo and her Mother and how they lived their lives to the dangers of the Tsar’s army and how they try to survive. Olivia

  2. The Wolf Wilder is a great adventurous book, it takes the reader into a completely different world and it is mind-blowing. I especially liked the parts where it comes to life. I really loved this book as it is a very original story and I have never read anything like this before.

  3. This was my favourite book because it was an adventure to find Feo’s mother. I liked Feo’s relationship with the wolves and her new friend. It was always action packed and there was never a dull moment. Amy.

  4. I found this book inspiring. The description and adventure of Feo and her friends was nerve-racking, and I felt I could sympathise with them easily. This is one of the best books I have ever read. Hasha.

  5. The story line was well structured and developed excellently. There were lots of plot twists which always kept the story interesting. However, certain scenes in the book could have been more descriptive. Daniel

  6. This book was imaginative and very well written. It also had just the right amount of action while developing the plot and characters. Thiara

  7. The amount of real detail is extraordinary. Upon reading the title I felt this book would be boring but I found it to be very amazing. Faizah

  8. A truly gripping story, this magical story reads like a future classic. Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark, stormy girl. Her name was Fedora.

    I thought The Wolf Wilder was an incredible book that was magical and mysterious. My favourite part was when Feo and her Mama were reunited; it made me feel relieved that all Feo’s determination paid off. My favourite character was Feodora because, despite all she’d been through, she kept on going.

    I really enjoyed this book and loved the bonds and descriptions.

    Wolf Wilder is a daring story about a girl called Feodora. And this is her story. I love the description and adjectives; I think Katherine Rundell has done an amazing job with this book. I would recommend this book to a friend. Erica

    • Gosforth East Middle School.

      Wolf Wilder is an amazing book that portrays an adventure which inspires people like me to never give up, be brave and to be proud for what you are- Wolf Wilder really touches my heart.


  9. I really enjoyed Wolf Wilder. I think it had a good lead up to the main climax. However, it sometimes became hard to follow. I also think the jail – break could have been longer. Overall I did enjoy the book and would recommend to my friends.

  10. Some of the names were hard to read and pronounce. Except for loving wolves, we have a completely different personality. I found it hard to get into until chapter 5 and then I couldn’t stop reading!

  11. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK. I love everything about it – the setting, the characters and the structure. I also love the wolves. Its just perfect. I really love Feodora as even though there are lots of books with dominant female characters there was something about her that was unique. The plot was also amazing!

  12. My overall view on this book is that it’s very original. The way the author has crafted the idea of setting the scene throughout the book was very good. The fact that she used a woman as a strong and independent character strengthens the idea of us women being just as determined and powerful as the men in society today.

  13. Wow! What a fabulous and stunning book! I loved the concept of an aristocratic Russia in which owning pet wolf cubs is a necessity in order to keep up with your neighbours!
    I didn’t like Feo as the main character because it annoyed me that her opinions contradicted her actions but I did enjoy the story.

  14. I liked the setting and found the plot easy to follow. I also liked Feo, who was brave and professional and the way her relationship with Ilya helped him to grow in confidence and achieve his dream. It was nice too that she could teach him even though she was so young. The wolves were very important to the story and described wonderfully. This has to be one of my favourite books.

  15. I enjoyed this book because it was fast-paced and the story was compelling; I couldn’t put it down! My favourite character was Illya because he has a secret: he’s a soldier but really wants to become a ballet dancer! I loved the ending because it was very short and I felt it brought the book to a dramatic close.

  16. I think that Wolf Wilder is an extraordinary book full of amazing characters and settings! I like it because it’s full of action and adventure and, as a fantasy story, I found it mostly believable. I did feel, however, that the middle dragged and I would have liked the ending to have been more drawn out as I thought it was a bit rushed.

  17. Wolf Wilder was very good and attracted me from the beginning. I found it hard to understand in places but overall I enjoyed it. Parts were really unexpected and parts were very sad. I liked the bit where the children were camping in the ruined castle and when Feo was pretending to be a countess in order to get through the gates of St Petersburg. I loved how it was set in old-time Russia and I loved learning a little Russian!

  18. This was an amazing book but I found it hard to believe in some things, such as the children’s army. I found Feodora interesting because she liked being with wolves and I have not read about anyone like this before. She made a good main character. Overall I thought this book was really good and I loved the humorous bits. I would rate it 9/10.

  19. I found this book really original and interesting and excellent for younger readers. I loved the story, which ran very smoothly, and I could believe in the characters and their motives.

  20. I thought the Wolf Wilder was good; it was very compelling and well-paced. I liked Feo as the main character because she was so determined to get to her mother but I found it hard to believe that the army of children could break into a prison! Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

  21. I really liked Wolf Wilder because I was completely drawn in by the storyline. Feo (the main character) was amazing because she was adventurous and daring. I liked it especiallywhen Tenderfoot gave birth because it was exciting and made me want to keep reading on. There was really nothing that I didn’t like about this book.

  22. I think Wolf Wilder is a fantastic book! I really liked the main character (Feo) as I think she is very brave. The book is very exciting and I could not put it down! The descriptions were really good and I loved the idea of the wolves. I would recommend this book for 9 – 10 year olds. I think Katherine Rundell is a great writer and I really enjoy reading her books.

  23. I think this is an incredible book because the main character has the courage to do anything it takes for her family. I really like how the writer sees the world from the perspective of the wolves and judges things as ‘familiar’ and ‘unfamiliar’ to describe how they view things. I also like the way the book is set at the time of the Revolution because I understand now what it was like then and how cruelly people were being treated.

  24. I wouldn’t say that this was one of the best books I have read this year because the beginning was very slow and didn’t interest me. Later in the story, however, I loved it! The story was full of excitement and I just could not put it down! Overall a slow start with a great ending!

  25. This is a well written book and one of its best features is the way everything flows together so nicely. When the scenes changed, however, I found it hard to identify where I was and I would have liked this to have been made clearer. I’m not sure what Ilya wanting to be a dancer has to do with the plot, but overall I really liked this book.

  26. Wolf Wilder is fabulous book, full of imagination, action and adventure. I wasn’t too keen on it at the start and the middle dragged on a bit but otherwise I enjoyed the book. I liked the way Feo bonded with the wolves and especially liked the part when Feo dropped an icicle on Rakov as a diversion so she could escape! However, I didn’t like the part near the end when the children created amazing costumes to disguise themselves; I thought it was too hard to believe – even for a fantasy book. All in all I thought Wolf Wilder was a most enjoyable, creative and fun book to read – I would definitely read it again.

  27. I think Wolf Wilder had an amazing plot and very well portrayed characters. I think there were more sad parts than happy parts and I would have liked the ending to be longer but overall I enjoyed this book.

  28. Wolf Wilder is one of the most compelling books I have ever read! Every time I needed to stop reading, something new happened and urged me on! I loved the settings and characters, especially Ilya, who was supposed to be a ruthless soldier but in fact was an aspiring dancer! This book was very imaginative but I could not believe that the children would get away with dressing up in order to get into the city. I did, however, love the way the ending repeated the introduction and the description of the wolf pup. I loved the chemistry between Feo and the wolves – it broke my heart when Grey died. I really enjoyed this book.

  29. I thought that this was quite a good book but, for someone who doesn’t dote on animals, I thought that there was a little too much about wolves, especially at the beginning! This made it quite hard to get into and almost put me off. The middle was too long and I felt that the description, though amazing, padded it out unnecessarily. I still had fairly high hopes for the ending but I found this a disappointment. It was rushed and unrealistic – very much a “happy ever after” ending, which probably wouldn’t have happened in this situation. However, although I have issues with the structure and content, the prose was brilliant – with vivid, beautiful descriptions that I enjoyed reading greatly!

  30. This was a good book and I liked how it was set in a foreign country. I would have liked a little glossary at the end of the book to help me find out the meanings of the Russian words like ‘’lapushka’’. When General Rakov was destroying Feodora’s house there was just non-stop action and I loved it. I like how Feo and Alexi gave the people the courage to fight back against the evil Russian General Rakov. I thought that Feo was the most determined story character I have ever read about.

  31. As I know very little about wolves, I learned quite a lot from this book! I liked the setting and plot of the book as it was easy to follow and it turned out to be an intriguing read. The only disappointing attribute was the ending, which I thought was unrealistic, but overall was an enjoyable story.

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